Investors are not only great at managing money, but also changing the world with their money. They not only make a fortune for themselves but also help million others to realize their dream. They are the shining stars of the financial world. These investors are not only rich with their money, but also with their intellect. While some of these carefully analyze and chalk out their investment plans, others simply went with their killer instincts. The common thing to all of them is their ability to beat the market. They simply can foresee financial future! Here are the top 10 investors of the world:
- Warren Buffet: Net Worth-$ 66.4 billion
This 86 year old Business man and Philanthropist have his twitter bio as Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, when actually he is so much more than this. One of the richest and most respected man, he is an investment guru and is rightly known as “Oracle of Omaha” and “Sage of Omaha” (Omaha is his birthplace in Nebraska). He has pledged to give away 99% of his wealth to philanthropic causes via Gate Foundation. No doubt he was the named the most influential person by Times in 2012. As a young boy, he was a mathematical prodigy and continued to display his skills in later years. His earliest investing experience was at the age of 11, when he invested in a company and even though the stocks dropped from 38$ to 27$, he held on and later earned 200$. Apparently, he had pledged to jump off the tallest building in Omaha if didn’t became a millionaire by 30 years age. He entered University of Pennsylvania at mere age of 16, completed his degree from University of Nebraska and emerged with 10,000 dollars as a result of small businesses. Fulfilling his dream, he has also worked for his mentor, Benjamin Graham. Politically active, he is a vocal supporter of voting and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. He is an upholder of gender equality and writes essays and tweets on it. He also has uncanny love of Ukulele and even plays it at stock holder meetings. Pretty much a perfect man! Ain’t he?
- Carl Icahn: Net worth-$17 billion
A self taught know-how of worldliness, he has picked up pretty great sass in his life, apart from the billion dollar fortune. His twitter bio says that he makes money studying natural stupidity. A very vocal republican, he supports Trump and praises him plenty, just as much as he censures Hillary on social media. Founder and shareholder of Icahn Capital Management, his reputation of “ruthless corporate raider” precedes him. He has a diverse academic background, with a philosophy degree from Princeton University and 2 years of New York University School of Medicine. Beginning his career in 1961 as a stock broker on Wall Street, he has since then held various controlling positions at various corporations like RJR Nabisco, Phillips Petroleum, Gulf & Western, Western Union, TWA, Texaco, and many others. Now, he is interested in taking over of Yahoo!. He suffered a 45% drop in Icahn Enterprises in 2015, accounting a major loss for him. Regardless of such a situation, this American Business magnate should not be confused with being behindhand when it comes to philanthropy. He substantially contributed to his alma mater Princeton University, to fund a genomics lab which now bears his name, Carl C. Icahn Laboratory. Besides, he started the Icahn scholar program to fund for 10 students, which is an expense of $160,000 per head. His foundation, The Children Rescue Fund, built The Bronx, houses for homeless families.
- George Soros: Net worth- $ 24.9 billion
“The Man who broke the Bank of England” as he is internationally called, when he risked $10 billion on a single currency speculation, British Pound, in 1992, which made him a whooping profit of $ 1 billion. Born in 1930 in Hungary, he fled the Nazis in mid-1940s and entered a new life of finance in London School of Economics, England. A philosophical speculator and political activist (in his own words as well), he holds a dual citizenship of Hungary and USA, to where he had immigrated in 1956. He started working in New York and held analyst and investment management positions at various firms. Not afraid to take risks, he makes huge bets and considers the financial market to be chaotic. He worked according to his killer instincts, which indeed have worked out well enough to make him one of the wealthiest men. He fully retired in the 2000s and became a substantial philanthropist, donating huge amounts of money (more than $7 billion!) to projects like Internet Infrastructure for Russian Universities and Millennial Promise, to eradicate poverty in America. Pledging political donation, he said he is willing to put his total fortune at stake, to defeat the then President Bush. He has authored books, like The Alchemy of Finance" (1988), "Soros on Soros: Staying Ahead of the Curve"(1995), "Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism" (2001) and "The Bubble of American Supremacy: Correcting the Misuse of American Power" (2003). He is very vocal in his criticism of Bush and wars in his books as well as speeches.
- Peter Lynch: Net worth-$ 352 million
Stock Investor and Manger of the Magellan Fund at Fidelity Investments between 1977 and 1990, Lynch achieved an annual average return of 29% which made it the world’s best performing mutual fund. He has a diverse academia, with graduation from Boston College, studying subjects like History, Psychology and Philosophy and an MBA from University of Pennsylvania. He also served in the military for 2 years. He has been titled as ‘chameleon’ due to his ability to adapt any investment style, when required. He is a workaholic and is known to have a set of 8 fundamental principles for stock selection process. A highly intellectual man as he has been called, he has co-authored many books, papers and articles on investing, coining some golden rules and success mantras. The publications include: “One Up On Wall Street" by Peter Lynch with John Rothchild (1989), "Beating The Street"Peter Lynch with John Rothchild (1993) and "Learn To Earn"Peter Lynch with John Rothchild (1996). A cautious man, with a vision in stock market, he only invests for long term and pays little attention to short run swings. Lynch spent his childhood saving money, owing to poor economic conditions of the family. His career started as an intern with Fidelity Investments and later he rose to Fidelity’s Director of Research in 1977. Currently working as a part-time vice chairman of Fidelity Management& Research Co., he primarily focuses on mentoring young analysts and philanthropy. He donates money to 2 topmost priority organizations: the Lynch Foundation and Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund.
- John Bogle: Net worth- $ 80 million
Founder and retired CEO of the Vanguard Group, world’s largest mutual fund sponsors. A graduate, with a degree in Economics from Princeton University, this octogenarian, gave world, a classic bestseller book: ‘Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor’. Called an ‘Investment Giant’ by the Fortune Magazine, he had already studied mutual funds in depth during his university days. Despite being affected by the Great Depression, he had excellent academic record, which earned him scholarship and entry into the prestigious Blair Academy. He started his career at Wellington Fund and displayed exceptional intelligence. He laid down 8 basic rules for investors, guiding them in asset size and funds. His approach to investing is defined by common sense and simplicity. Some of his publications: "John Bogle on Investing: The First 50 Years" (2000), "The Little Book Of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns" (2007) and "The Vanguard Experiment: John Bogle's Quest to Transform the Mutual Fund Industry" by Robert Slater (1996). Bogle is known for putting forth innovative and out of the box ideas, which includes client-oriented mutual fund investment. His life is described as ‘evolutionary and iconoclastic’ by Robert Slater, a biographer. Even though he was fired as chairman from Wellington, for taking an extremely unwise step, he did not give up. He accepted his mistake, publicly acknowledging it and moved on, later finding Vanguard.
- Julian Robertson: Net Worth-$ 3.6 billion
Titled as ‘A tiger in the land of bulls and bear’, this billionaire is a hedge fund pioneer and ex-officer in U.S Navy. He started working as a stockbroker for Kidder, Peabody & Co. on leaving Navy in 1957 and later launched Tiger Management or Tiger Fund, a hedge fund. Also, called as ‘The Wizard of Wall street’, he had the best hedge fund through 1980s and 1990s and eventually Tiger Management became the world’s largest fund with largest amount ever invested at $23 billion. A graduate of North Carolina University, with an MBA degree, he was not very pleased with tech-stock craze. Being of calculative nature, he considered tech related stock, agonizingly irrational investing. Robertson’s hedge fund ultimately came to a downfall in 2000s. The reason of this became a matter of debate and discussions. While some attributed to poor stock choices and risky bets, others were in favor of Julian’s autocratic managing style and notorious temper. His style of investment is not something which an average investor can learn from and use. It is individualistic. Despite being cautious, he always made big bets, based on exhaustive researches. Another thing which set him apart was his opinion against using basic principles and fundamentals. Currently he is active in philanthropy and donated $27 million to New York Stem Cell Foundation, a research institute. He founded Robertson Scholars Program, from which 36 students benefit every year with four full year scholarship to Duke University and University Of North Carolina, room and travel funding. He supported presidential candidate Jeb Bush and donated $1 million to his campaign.
- Mikhail Prokhorov: Net worth- $ 8.5 billion
The multitalented Mikhail, has been a banker, metal mogul, athlete, NBA owner (The Brooklyn Nets), media player, martial artist, politician and finally the most important, investor (it got him into this list!). This young billionaire made headlines, when he jumped into presidential election against Vladimir Putin. He did not win (for obvious reasons), but presented a very unconventional (perhaps coming-of-age) campaign. (HINT: He rapped on national TV!). Though his primary source of wealth has always been investments, he also was a leading industrialist in Russia, owning stakes in precious metals sector. Former chairman of Norilsk Nickel, Polyus Gold and Onexim Group, he was bestowed with awards like Order of Friendship and French Legion of Honour. Engaging in philanthropic activity, Mikhail, founded The Cultural Initiatives Foundation, with the belief that culture and creativity leads to better understanding of social issues. He describes himself as an aggressive businessman and one who prefers to indulge in risks rather than being ineffective due to over cautiousness. Once, he financially supported basketball, hockey and football clubs. Currently he is involved with energy crisis and fuel cells, stating that sources aren’t infinite in Russia and emphasis should be laid on investments in technology. He also wants Russia to have the opportunity to join and drive in the trend of electric cars. In 2012, he pledged $50,000 for adopting children affected by US ban. His recent activity was founding Onexim Alternative energy and nanotechnology investment fund with an investment of $25 billion. A fun fact about him is that, he is counted as one of the world’s most eligible bachelors!
- Bill Gross: Net worth-$ 2.4 billion
William Hunt “Bill” Gross is the ‘king of bonds’. He co-founded PIMCO (Pacific Investment Management Company) family of bonds and was its managing director. In 2014, he left PIMCO and joined Janus, an American, publicly owned investment firm. Born in Ohio, he earned his degree in Psychology from Duke University and an MBA degree from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. He has also briefly served in the Navy. He worked as an investment analyst with Pacific Mutual Funds and earned his credentials and is a CFA Charterholder. He has managed one of the world’s largest mutual funds. On his investment styles, it has been said that he plays against rules and do not adhere to market conditions. He transforms market according to his whims. Professional blackjack player, he uses gambling strategies for calculating odds in his investment decisions. Bill believes in making investments for the long run regardless of bonds or equities. He donated $23.5 million to his alma mater, Duke University and millions to Doctors without Border (program), Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, University of California (Irvine) and Mercy Ships. Apart from these, he gave up his Scandinavian and Finnish collections for auction to raise money. He sets aside time from his business (which earns him billions!) for stamp collections. He has a complete collection of 19th century US postage stamps. Not only this, he is also an author of 2 prominent books: “Bill Gross On Investing" (1998) and "Everything You've Heard About Investing Is Wrong!: How To Profit In The Coming Post-Bull Markets" (1997). Bill practices Transcendental Meditation, a form of meditation with mantras’ chanting, which is unheard of most investors.
- Ray Dalio: Net worth- $ 15.9 billion
Another billionaire investor on list, we have Ray, the founder of investment firm Bridgewater Associates. Currently the 30th richest person in America and 69th in world, Dalio began investing at a young age of 12. He invested in Northeast Airlines and benefitted $300 dollars at such a tender age. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Long Island University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He started his career as the Director of Commodities at Dominick & Dominick LLC and later became a trader and broker at Shearson Hayden Stone. His firm is now world’s largest hedge fund, with $ 160 billion in assets. Predicting the global financial crisis, he published an essay “How the Economic Machine Works; A Template for Understanding What is Happening Now". An intellectual, he published 123 page volume called ‘Principle’ which contained his investment philosophies and rationalities, based on his observations and experiences. Dalio, adopting a more tech savvy method to share his secrets of investment world, made an animated video on YouTube. It became hugely popular and fetched 2.7 million views and still counting. Just like Bill Gross, he is one of the few investors, who practice transcendental meditation. Ray has 3 ‘Lifetime Achievement’ Awards to his name. He has recently made a website, Principles.org, where he seeks to virtually mentor young investors. His wife, Barbara and Dalio has pledged half of his fortune to charitable causes as a part of The Giving Pledge, started by Bill Gates. Dalio is active in philanthropy and even donates to unconventional causes like conservation and research in oceanography.
- Ronald Perelman: Net worth-$ 12.4 billion
One of the world’s largest philanthropic donors, Perelman is the founder of company MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated and has invested through it in companies with diverse interests which includes from groceries, make-up, security, photography to gaming, cars, televisions and comic books. Born on New Year of 1943 in North Carolina, Ronald learned business principles and tactics from his father, Raymond, who was an ardent and accepted businessman. Ronald’s relationship with his father was very intense and was discussed in a lengthy article published by Forbes 400 in2004. Perelman graduated from University of Pennsylvania and obtained an MBA degree from Wharton School. He started his career at Belmont Industries, assisting his father. He has controlled cosmetic company Revlon since decades and is struggling to control it now, due its falling stakes. As a former owner of Marvel Entertainment, his story of marvel adventures is portrayed in Titans of Finance. He has made a great number of philanthropic activities, once donating over $ 60 million to various charities and causes, just in a year. He started various funds and programs like Revlon/UCLA Women’s Cancer Research Program, Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU Medical Center and Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute and donated significant amounts to University of Pennsylvania, New York University, Princeton University and Guggenheim Museum. Recently, he donated $ 75 million to re-start dying plans of building a performing arts center in World Trade center. He constantly remains in controversy due to one reason or other, like Greenmail, Lewinsky scandal and a court case with Fred Tepperman, his then CFO.